I unhesitatingly endorse Jeanne Pupke to be our next UUA president, and here are a couple of reasons why:
As a member of the Southern Region, I have had the pleasure of attending Jeanne’s presentations numerous times, and found her to be engaging, witty, and sincere. I became sold on her long before she declared her candidacy for UUA president, when she addressed a Mosaic Makers conference, sharing her personal experience with anti-racism work in the 1st UU congregation – she hired a minister of color and got some pushback from a few people about his assuming the position and becoming “the voice of 1st UU”; she listened, but was undeterred and stuck to her guns. Further, she was able to forge a relationship with this minister’s sister, who leads a gospel choir that had no place to rehearse. They began rehearsing at 1st UU, and Jeanne used her incredible skills of adaptive leadership to build a new way by forming a Bread for the Journey offering that featured the choir (which is an incredibly talented group). This was a win-win solution, and a new way of building community and living the UU principles emerged.
Jeanne has a long and varied bank of personal experiences, and uses every bit of it to walk her talk. She understands people and is disarming with her wittiness and warmth. When a nearby congregation lost their minister, the 1st UU congregation responded with support, but Jeanne herself continued to visit them frequently to provide pastoral support and to let them know they were not alone.
I believe Jeanne is a strong leader, who fully understands the anti-racism, anti-oppression, and multiculturalism issues that form a large part of our UUA infrastructure. As shown in the previous examples, she has demonstrated that she has the courage and the vision to right our vessel and move us forward.
So, I’ll be looking forward to voting for Jeanne this June in New Orleans because I am looking forward to deepening my faith and continuing the journey with her. Laissez les bon temps rouler, cher!
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Winston Salem, NC
former member of the Southeast District “Dream Team”